A hundred years of Grosbusch: a family company’s innovations

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On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June 2017, the Luxembourg fruit and vegetable importer/exporter is celebrating its 100th anniversary. It is an opportunity for this family company to unveil its new site in Ellange, its news – the new Grosbusch brand, and the education-related projects ”Grosbusch Academy” and “Grosbusch Kids” – as well as its long-term ambitions

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19/06/2017 | Inauguration
  • InaugurationLocauxEllange

On the occasion of its centenary, Grosbusch held an entertainment-packed weekend at its Ellange premises. On Saturday, over 3,000 guests were invited to take part in a programme of guided tours of the site, cooking workshops with nibbles, and festivities organised around a 100%-vegetarian and vegan food village that gives pride of place to fruit and vegetables in all their forms. On Sunday, the big barbecue brought together all Grosbusch employees and their families in a convivial and festive spirit.

Innovations and trends
The hundredth anniversary coincides with the launch of several innovations brought in under the enlarged management joined by Goy and Lynn Grosbusch, now working with their father, René, and their uncle, André. The first of these was the launch of the Grosbusch and Grosbusch Bio brands, replacing Vitality and Biovitality. “We have chosen to put our name on our products, which makes clear that, more than ever, we are responsible for and proud of their quality and sourcing”, explains Goy Grosbusch, Media and Marketing Director.

Carefully and rigorously selected from partner producers, the company’s top-quality fruit and vegetables are guaranteed to be fresh and exceptionally nutritious, and this positioning is also reflected in the new visual identity unveiled at the start of the year. “That also benefits consumers, in the context of our Fruit@Office service, which has now passed the 60,000-crate mark, as well as of pre-packaging and freshly cut fruit, mainly destined for supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.”These new services respond to an increasingly pronounced market trend: ready-to-eat “convenience products”.

Official openings on the occasion of the centenary
One result has been the expansion and construction of the freshly unveiled new premises, of which there were guided tours throughout the weekend. “We have invested €20 million in these new premises, offering 12,500 m2 on top of the existing 4,500 m2”, Goy Grosbusch says. “As a result, we now have 57 loading bays, 13 new storage bins whose temperature can be adjusted to the product stored, a truck wash for cleaning our lorries, and workshops for fresh fruit cutting and for putting together the Fruit@Office service on site”, continues Lynn Grosbusch, the Commercial Director. In the medium term, a plan is already in motion to enable this new warehouse to host a morning market aimed at people working in the Greater Region.

Another innovation is the opening of the “Grosbusch Academy”, dedicated to offering education and vocational training to fruit and vegetable lovers. “The fruit and vegetable trade lacks any formal training or qualifications and, since we already train up our teams and the employees of some customers in this area, the academy should enable us to further develop this activity”, elaborates Goy Grosbusch. What is more, because good things always come in threes, 2017 will also see the launch, from September onwards, of the “Grosbusch Kids”, with the aim of spreading our love of fruit and vegetables to the little ones. “We will invite kids aged seven to 12 to take part in theoretical, practical and playful exercises led by company staff, so as to teach them more about fruit, vegetables and our trade in general”, explains Lynn Grosbusch, who is in charge of the project.

Long-term ambitions
The hundredth anniversary is also an opportunity to let current suppliers and partners know a few key figures and bits of information about the company’s development. “One has to realise that there were fewer than 200 people in the company at the start of the year and now we are pushing 240 employees. That growth is a good demonstration of our ambition to develop, both nationally and internationally. As a case in point, we have started to export to the African market by air freight, and we will also be targeting countries like China and the Emirates. Right now, our goal is to grow our turnover by 20% every year”, says Goy Grosbusch.

Apart from import/export, the key departments for the company are freshly cut fruit, the Fruit@Office service and organic products, which is a sector that grew 30% last year and shows no signs of slowing down. To hit its growth targets, the company focuses on its know-how and on the vocational training of its staff, who further have the possibility to, among other things, take courses in Luxembourgish, get involved in sports activities and take power naps in dedicated areas. However, Grosbusch relies just as much on its 410 suppliers and partners in 36 countries, some of which have been working with the company for over 10 years; relationships of trust that are key to its history of now more than 100 years. This is the recipe that will enable Grosbusch to head into its second century, while continuing to stand out from the crowd and to remain equal to the market’s expectations.

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